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Project information

Being Mam and Dad

Our project will support bereaved families or those facing terminal illness where children and the remaining parent are struggling to cope or facing exclusion, financial worries or disadvantage as a result. We aim to improve mental health with a bespoke programme of counselling and fun activities.

12 months

Charity information: Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT)

Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT) logo
  • Need


    In Tyne and Wear almost 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and the NE region has the highest incidence of cancer in the country. Many children or young adults are looking after their parent, coping with busy home life and side effects of treatment while trying to continue their studies, activities and friendships. Local Headteachers tell us this is causing distress in children and their peers resulting in mental health problems, poor self-esteem and lower attainment.


    Our project will bring together children facing the same issues so they don't feel so alone. We will use fun family activities alongside specialist counselling in crisis listening, talking therapy and grief therapy to help children feel more able to cope with life and the demands of schoolwork. We hope the support will enable the remaining parent to cope better and build a new support network plus the reassurance to know that their children are receiving the help they need.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To recruit 10 families with a seriously ill parent or facing bereavement to join the programme


    » A recently bereaved service user has agreed to volunteer time to recruit families in the same situation

    What success will look like

    The numbers engaged in the programme within a 12 month period. Attendance will be measured with a success criteria of at least 2 sessions.

    Aim 2

    We aim to improve the well-being of children and their parents to cope with terminal illness


    » We will offer specialist counselling to children facing bereavement or with parent caring responsibility
    » We will develop a fun programme of activities to improve positive mental outlook, reduce isolation and encourage new family support networks

    What success will look like

    Using a smiley face chart we will assess mental well-being at the start and end of the programme.

  • Impact


    We aim to improve the emotional resilience of families and children and want to see positive engagement longer term. We hope that families are better able to cope and retain a relationship with the charity longer term, either through fundraising, event attendance or volunteering involvement.


    The risk is we don't get enough interest in the programme. However, we have over 4000 people on facebook plus a vibrant newsletter to advertise new services. We also have excellent links to the local cancer treatment depts in Gateshead and Newcastle hospitals, where we receive referrals and recommendations from cancer nurses and consultants. The voluntary help of a directly affected service user will help to recruit the right families and be an example of our positive work.


    We will do an end of project report to summarise the project and show photos and numbers attending. We will evaluate using our feedback form to guide us with how positive the programme has made them feel.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,290

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,500 Counselling Grief and talking therapies
      £2,500 Staff Family 1-2-1 support
      £1,040 Equipment Children's gaming, dvd equipment
      £250 Marketing Social media and promotion
      £1,000 Activities Family activity costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Morrisons Foundation £1,040 Guaranteed
    Newcastle Building Society £1,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our project is located in Tyne and Wear which has many deprived areas and is situated in the NE region which has the highest incidence of cancer in the country. We are in contact with families who are facing bereavement and we are approached by on a regular basis by newly diagnosed women with breast cancer who are coming to terms with their diagnosis and treatment. Many of those women are 30-44 yrs where there is a spike in the number of women with breast cancer, many of whom have families.


    The project is aimed at families with children aged 8-16 years plus a parent or carer. We are contacted by a number of headteachers in Gateshead and County Durham who have families facing bereavement which is affecting their schoolwork and ability to cope so we already know there is demand for this work.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    FACT was founded by a young mother with breast cancer to support not just the patient, but also the family and friends who might also struggle to support their loved one - particularly children facing the serious illness of a parent or family member. FACT has been offering cancer support services for 8 years and now has a large dedicated cancer support centre.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Recruiting families, marketing the programme and using her personal experience to support others during the programme.

    Joanne Smith

    Founder of the charity and Chief Executive, using her personal drive to support families and inspire them to cope with cancer or serious illness.

    Services Staff

    Our Outreach and services staff will develop the activities, run the programme and provide 1-2-1 support and advice


    Our lead counsellor (freelance) with many years of experience working with children on bereavement and coping with cancer.